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Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Gate of Heaven

On the opposite corner from yesterdays shot (and yes, it is round from Mile end, Burdett Road junct. Stepney Green) was this visually amusing line up. I couldn't resist a smile, I wonder how the inhabitants feel?

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 2

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I rather like this scaled down Hollywood sign on a crossroads in the East End. From this side it just reads like a random instruction, but actually there is a playground hidden behind.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 1

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dead Victorians

With Columbia Road becoming more trendy, it is attracting a better class of street entertainer, here the Dead Victorians were entertaining the crowd with more than average skill and entertainment quotient. With the magic of the Internet, you can judge for yourself.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 2

Monday, May 28, 2012

Columbia Road Market

If you are interested in flowers and plants or even just enjoy looking at them, Columbia Road Market on a Sunday morning has to be on your list of places to visit. The only trouble is that you can't park nearby, so large and heavy purchases can be a bit of a problem.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Just Lion About

This is a detail from a doorway in London Wall, I'm always impressed by the quality of the carving and the detail work in pieces like this, just one of a myriad of anonymous buildings.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Salsa is Back

...and it's free! Public salsa classes are in Spitalfields again, read more here. Riding past on my way home, it always sounds so exotic.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 1

Friday, May 25, 2012

Busy Going Nowhere

I never cease to wonder why it is that so many choose to drive into London. Sure, some people have to, but others choose to sit in traffic like this (which is a bit of a jam about a mile long). If you don't like public transport, get on yer bike! I do seriously appreciate how some people don't feel confident enough to ride, but there is a marvellous scheme where you can get free cycle roadcraft training, to help you learn how to ride safely and with confidence. Read about it here.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 2

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Aye, it's a Grand Union

Today I chose to use the Grand Union Canal for the first part of my trip home, it is a wonderful car free route right into the heart of London (on google maps route is here). I don't normally use it, as I thought it slower but I discover it actually cuts mileage off my trip so takes about the same (1 hour 20). It's a superb way to travel.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 1

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Down on the Beach!

Yay! Summer has arrived! for the first day we have had sun (no rain) and warm, and everyone was making the most of it.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Fancied a Smoke

I've known for years about Smoke magazine, how it was the most excellent London fanzine that felt like home, it was Diamond Geezer who pointed me that way first. Only, I'd never bought a copy, not a single one. For some reason the thought and the place never came together. Then in June 2010 they went into hiatus. That is, until I noticed the link reappear in DG's sidebar and discovered they are back up and running again. I thought, the time has come! and bought all the back issues. I truly recommend them to you for an engrossing read.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Monday, May 21, 2012

The India Connection

This fountain in Regents Park, serves to remind us of England's colonial past. The inscription reads:
"This fountain, erected by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association was the gift of Sir Cowasjee Jehangir (Companion of the Star of India) A wealthy Parsee gentleman of Bombay as a token of gratitude to the people of England for the protection enjoyed by him and his Parsee fellow countrymen under British rule in India.
With the magic of the Internet, we can find out what he looks like, and also his father the wonderfully named Sir Cowasji Jehangir Readymoney.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 2

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Camden Lock Basin

While we're in Camden, let's have a look at the lock basin, with the London Waterbus Company narrowboats. They run from Camden to Little Venice, and also do narrowboat tours, which sound like a great way to see London from a different perspective. And, if you look at the eye watering prices of the official Olympic service, they are an absolute bargain.

posted by Ham at 08:30 -- Comments here: 0

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

In Camden Lock, they have employed a town crier to clang his bell, and wear a coat modelled suspiciously after the Yeoman's with an almost royal looking crest on the back. Tourists seems to enjoy him, and he can play the trumpet quite well, too.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mongol Hordes Hit London

The innocuous and fun Jelly Babies have been replaced by the more controversial figure of Genghis Kahn in the centre of Marble Arch. Strange choice, nice enough sculpture.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 7

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Put Out More Flags!

London is getting ready for the Queen's Jubilee celebration, and Oxford Street and Regent Street are resplendent in their rows of the Union flag. The title alludes to Evelyn Waugh's novel of the same name, which I would sincerely recommend anyone that hasn't read it to do so, it is very funny.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 6

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

London, You're Beautiful

This is the other part of the diptych. Photograph and sketch.

Every now and then, I get asked to review something, promote something, through this blog. If I like it, I tell you about it, I don't have a problem with that arrangement.

Penguin Books contacted me and asked if I would like a copy of David Gentleman's new book, "London You're Beautiful", I said yes. I didn't expect it to be an absolute gem of a book - this guy has spent a year going around London, sketching, painting and this book is the result. I love it to bits - I know so much of what is in there, I know where he stood, what he saw, his images are the opposite side of a photograph, not so much the picture as the feeling.

This image is a very small one in his book, but it so illustrates what I mean. If you love London, you will love this book.

I don't think I will be able to resist posting more images, I hope the publishers don't mind, in future I will publish them side by side. I am certainly going to be finding out more about the man ... and seeing if I can afford any of his work.

You can read more reviews and information in these links: 1, 2, 3, you can buy it here: London, You're Beautiful: An Artist's Year

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 4

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Diptych - Part One

I have a conundrum, that will become clear tomorrow. I have a format that say I put one photo of my own online each day, like this peacock feather vendor. It's a simple enough concept but I now have a problem, that this photo of mine has a counterbalance. All will be revealed.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Monday, May 14, 2012

Draw London

I came across this group of foreign students having great fun making their own pictures and memories of London. I have no idea whether it was a set task or just something they chose to do.

posted by Ham at 00:06 -- Comments here: 2

Sunday, May 13, 2012

On the top of the world

It doesn't have to be that high. Just about any semi-high building gives you a great new perspective on your view, and the Blue Fin building is one of those. Have a look at the rooftop garden just across the way and try not to be jealous.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Start of Something Big

Make no mistake, this is a big deal. I got invited backstage to what's happening at Blackfriars Station where they are putting the finishing touches to the only station to span the Thames. The re-make has been incredibly thorough and delivers a station that is fit for the 21st century, and unifies the North & South. What you are looking at, are the western platforms, converted from the straight through line to the terminating one, to help smooth the flow of trains from London Bridge onwards. I may well have more to say about it tomorrow, in the meantime here is a time lapse video of the construction.

posted by Ham at 00:18 -- Comments here: 3

Ordinary Londoners - making things for you

Not part of the series, as I didn't find out anything about him, he is one of the astonishingly numerous workers behind the scenes at Blackfriars Station. At one time, it would appear, that there were two thousand workers on site. It all goes to give a sense of how much effort has to go into making the infrastructure that keeps us moving. One of the best things about the station (not yet in place) will be the glass sides of the platforms, giving a brilliant view of the Thames as you wait for your train.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Life is Beautiful

But sitting in the cold waiting for people to buy stuff probably isn't.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 2

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Nash Terraces - Part II

And look, here we are, one of the grandest streets in London certainly, the world possibly. Did you ever wonder about the name "Regent" Street? Probably not, but it was named after John Nash's patron, the then Prince Regent who later became George IV. Predating Houseman Haussmann in Paris and probably providing the inspiration, in 1811 Nash designed this grand street to cut a swathe through London's old Medieval street pattern.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 4

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Nash Terraces - Part I

John Nash together with his Royal sponsor, George IV transformed London, creating some of the grandest sweeps of buildings in London or anywhere. This shot is of some of those outside Regents Park, for my money one of the most exclusive and desirable residences anywhere in London.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 1

Monday, May 07, 2012

Through Mud & Blood

The official motto of the Royal Tank Regiment is "Fear Naught". The unofficial one, recognised on this recent monument behind Whitehall is " "From Mud, Through Blood to the Green Fields Beyond", which says it all, really.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Still Standing Still

You can see these street artists worldwide, but the density of them in Covent Garden and the Southbank must be one of the highest. Don't suppose they cause any harm, but after seeing one the novelty quickly fades.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Messing About on Boats

Given the importance of the river in London, it's no surprise there is a dedicated Police force.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Friday, May 04, 2012

An Orange Church

This church is Protestant, but the title comes from the street it is in - Orange Street behind the National Gallery. Actually, I reckon the street was named after the church, as it has been here since 1686. I love the way the big buildings are trying but failing to squash it, Isaac Newton lived next door, but his house was demolished before WWI. You can read more about the church on their website here.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 6

Thursday, May 03, 2012

A Thing of Beauty

Sometimes, I think it would be very nice to have the money it would take to acquire something like this. Found in the Lalique shop in Conduit Street, this piece - Dragon Volant - is one of 88 individually handmade made using the Cire Perdu (lost wax) process.If you want to have a look at what else they do here is theLalique Website. Don't seem to have many prices, though.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Up on the roof

While we're looking up in the air, it is worth pointing out the roof of Covent Garden, which has this charming statue of a half-nekkid girl, cornucopia and cherub where nobody will normally see it. I think it dates back to its tiem as a vegetable market, but I wouldn't swear to that.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 6

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

May Theme Day - Bakeries

Another worldwide city theme day, this time for May and the theme is Bakeries. The days are long gone when bakers could afford premises in Central London. This frieze above what is now an office block in Artillery Row is all that remains from that time. Inside, they built a sloping floor to help transport the flour.

Click here to see how others around the world have interpreted the theme.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 9

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Name: Ham Location: London, United Kingdom View my complete profile


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